Rearcross Football Club & The Bilboa Lotto
Rearcross Football Club’s association with the Bilboa Sports Club extends back to 1989 when the sports grounds at Bilboa became the home venue for our football club until the year 2000. In 1992 members of Rearcross Football Club assisted Bilboa Sports Club in selling tickets for their newly formed Lotto. It was in 1994 that Rearcross FC entered a formal arrangement with Bilboa Sports Club to regularly sell Bilboa Lotto tickets providing mutual benefit for both organisations, an arrangement that still exists to this very today.
From the outset Rearcross FC decided to visit the pubs in Rearcross, Kilcommon, Hollyford & Newport as selling venues each weekend. This was no easy task as one can appreciate that the pub scene back then was a busier affair than what we sometimes witness today. A format was put in place where 3 individual groups of club members were tasked with selling tickets every 3rd weekend. A “group leader” was also appointed to each respective group and it was their duty to ensure that everything was carried out accordingly. It would be a regular feature of the “group leader” to travel to Hollyford late on a Saturday evening to sell tickets, make their way back to Kilcommon to do likewise and head to Newport with other group members to sell late into the night meanwhile ensuring that tickets sellers were organised to sell in Rearcross. Additional tickets would then be sold in Rearcross on Sunday evening, and everything would have to be checked and accounted for before the Lotto draw took place which, back in the earlier years, was held on a Sunday night.
The Club also recognised the potential in distributing tickets among its own members on a weekly basis outside of the ticket selling regime in pubs and this also proved to be a valuable asset even to this day. In later years Rearcross FC withdrew from selling lotto tickets in Hollyford and in 2004 the Club decided to end their ticket selling activities in Newport and concentrating their efforts in Rearcross and Kilcommon.
The routine today has changed little from the early years however the demands on club members and the “group leaders” has lessened somewhat due to the smaller catchment area covered each weekend and as a result we now have 5 individual groups rostered to sell tickets every 5th weekend. It is a testament to the commitment of some of our Club members who were among the very first to sell lotto tickets for our Club can still be seen doing the same 24 years later.
Revenue from the Bilboa Lotto sales has in no doubt been a massive contributing factor for Rearcross FC which has played its part in developing our Club into what it is today. It remains our strongest and most consistent source of income.
Acknowledgement must be made to those Club members who over the years have played their part in selling lotto tickets and to the “group leaders” for their dedication and commitment. It is fair to say that certain Club members have led by example when it comes to selling lotto tickets and, in this regard, Thomas Kennedy is no exception as he continues to sell a significant number of tickets each week along with his willingness to sell tickets at weekends when called upon.
Rearcross FC are extremely grateful to the proprietors of the pubs in Rearcross, Kilcommon, Hollyford and Newport for their co-operation over the years in allowing us to use their premises to sell tickets. Thanks also to Bilboa Sports Club for their continued co-operation and support and to Kennedy’s shop which we use as a distribution centre for the lotto tickets.
Finally, Rearcross FC would like to thank the public at large for your continued support in making the Bilboa Lotto a success story in our Club’s history. We hope that you would continue your support and maybe soon your name will appear on the small brown envelope marked “Jackpot Winner”
Written by Dermot Hammersley (July 2016)